You can overcome your fears if you understand what is confronting you. Fear often accompanies great change, and great changes are afoot in Tanzania now. A previous post dealt with inequalities. In Tanzania’s cities you can see it all around you. The relentless slums, the rising mansions, the plazas and shopping centres. And people are beginning to question what is happening, particularly with regard to the use and abuse of the country’s natural resources. Traffic recently highlighted the rampant corruption in the forestry sector. Increasingly questions are being asked about mining contracts. Zitto Kabwe was suspended from parliament as a result

The next big investment sector will be biofuels – production of diesel type fuels from plants. The leader currently is Jatropha – read more here.

A renewable source of energy, easily grown…… it seems perfect for a country with, supposedly, so much land.

The East African recently reported on one such investment by Sun Biofuels, a UK based company with interests in Tanzania. The full report is reproduced here.

Sun Biofuels needs land to grow Jatropha. They requested 20,000 hectares in Kisarawe District and were awarded 9,000. The District Land Officer is reported as saying thatTsh800 million (c. USD630,000) has been earmarked by the investor as compensation to 2,840 households. This works out at less than USD200 per household. It works out at about USD70 per hectare.

What are your options as a villager in Kisarawe when faced with these levels of compensation? What are your options as Sun Biofuels when offered land at give away prices?

Is it any wonder people are afraid?